Ruth Bader Ginsburg is known for saying what she means. So no one should be surprised the Supreme Court justice shared her opinion about San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest in stark terms.
“I think it’s really dumb of them,” Ginsburg told Katie Couric when asked about those taking a knee during the national anthem before games instead of standing. Kaepernick started the movement, which has spread to other athletes beyond the NFL, to protest violence against African Americans and other minorities.
But although Ginsburg may not agree with a move she says lacks respect, she wouldn’t punish someone for the protest.
“Would I arrest them for doing it? No,” Ginsburg elaborated. “I think it’s dumb and disrespectful. I would have the same answer if you asked me about flag burning. I think it’s a terrible thing to do, but I wouldn’t lock a person up for doing it. I would point out how ridiculous it seems to me to do such an act.”
The Supreme Court justice said the Constitution allows for such an expression.
“If they want to be stupid, there’s no law that should be preventive. If they want to be arrogant, there’s no law that prevents them from that,” Ginsburg said. “What I would do is strongly take issue with the point of view that they are expressing when they do that.”
Ginsburg’s words come after she created controversy earlier this year by saying Donald Trump was “a faker” who “really has an ego” and “no consistency about him.” The Republican candidate responded on Twitter by calling for Ginsburg to resign. The justice said later her remarks were “ill advised” and she should not have commented on a candidate for public office.